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I, Cringely - The Survival of the Nerdiest with Robert X. Cringely
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Status: [CLOSED]

So why will this be the last of the prediction posts? Is a missing prediction the end of I, Cringely? Hope not on both counts.

As for the Apple predictions, they are too tame. This is a cash rich company with a very hungry and self-confident ("I am legend") CEO who does not think the game is over with the retirement of Bill Gates. Expect much more than the predicted developments. Perhaps this will fall into the Google prediction. These companies smell blood and their plans cannot be hidden indefinitely.

Happy 2008!!

Jim | Jan 04, 2008 | 2:03PM

People have predicted Apple would licence its OS from day one and were always wrong (at least when Steve jobs is in charge)

CVOS man | Jan 04, 2008 | 2:07PM

I predict I wont have a job at IBM in 2008.

Sadness | Jan 04, 2008 | 2:12PM

The last item you control, mostly. Playing a little loose with the items aren't we?

Tony, Knoxville, TN | Jan 04, 2008 | 2:14PM

The wildest thing he wrote was in the first sentence: "A new year has arrived and with it another predictions column, possibly my last. "

Possibly my last????

mlmitton | Jan 04, 2008 | 2:23PM

I predict that Bob will be correct on some predictions, kind of correct on some, and incorrect on some.

BJ | Jan 04, 2008 | 2:27PM

I predict a touch screen Zune player will be released. I also predict the current Zune 80 will gain in popularity, of course, not enough to disturb ipod sales much.

Brian | Jan 04, 2008 | 2:28PM

Bob, I recognize that crafting these list every year is likely a pain in the butt, however they do serve to give the lay reader (if you have such) a general sense of what to look out for in the comming year. I'd like them to continue. In this world > 60% aint so bad.

I think the distro of non Mac OS X would be a God Send. Maybe QQQ could adopt it.

A. Vaughn Poller | Jan 04, 2008 | 2:42PM

Quit crying over your score, Bob, and be man enough to call it 8 out of 15. You gave 15 predictions, and got 7 wrong. That's an accuracy of 53%.

The number one service you provide is to report the facts, wrapped in your analysis. Your columns are always interesting, whether they are right or wrong or simply conjecture.

That being said, your "analysis" should stay well short of claiming that two of last year's predictions didn't really count. I haven't seen you pull this stunt before, and I hope to see you avoid it in the future.

Here's hoping you issue your own correction, and take credit for your 53%. After all, it isn't your accuracy we admire .. it's that you have enough courage to make any predictions at all, especially in such a volatile industry.

Best regards (assuming you man up and claim your rightful 53% success rate).

Oliver Holloway | Jan 04, 2008 | 2:46PM

Whaddya mean "Possibly my last"?! You can't be considering following in the predicted footsteps of Bill and Steve, can you? I think you need to expand on that comment, quickly.





I hope #15 isn't a long shot.

a9db0 | Jan 04, 2008 | 2:55PM

I predict PBS will outsource Cringley's column to India.

Steve Dean | Jan 04, 2008 | 2:58PM

Not only did you get it right about Intel and AMD and software not keeping up, but it is going to get worse before it gets better. NVIDIA intends to be a player in the emerging High Performance Computing wars, using their fancy GPU's for data crunching that goes beyond rendering.

Randall Newton | Jan 04, 2008 | 3:00PM

Damm, I own IBM stock and also work on the front lines in GBS.

justin Mooo | Jan 04, 2008 | 3:04PM

Bob - I most enjoy the annual predictions and your wonderful insight. It is even fun to hear you admit when you are wrong. Although I must admit - that comment about your last prediction list somewhat bothers me. I would love to hear what your plans are for 2008. I would fashion my career based on your plans.
A faithful reader and a huge fan!!!!!

Randy | Jan 04, 2008 | 3:09PM

"the tide would begin to change for outsourcing and offshoring..."

Not entirely wrong--in fact, I would call this correct since you said "*begin* to change". My evidence: AT&T has begun to pull back some of its Tier 1 DSL support onshore, and furthermore, isn't opening up offshore centers for it's new(ish) IPTV product.

Now, the reason is still wrong... there's no changing of the guard with new fresh ideas. It's just a general frustration that the product being delivered from offshore centers isn't worth the cost (in dollars and customers).

Wes | Jan 04, 2008 | 3:09PM

Nice call Bob, I have linked to my predictions in the URI line of this comments section. Surprised Nokia didn't feature in your predictions

Ged Carroll | Jan 04, 2008 | 3:09PM

Let me just say Apple will not be running Windows APIs anytime soon. I don't think Apple wants the Enterprise. It simply doesn't allow for OS versions to remain stagnant when new Macs come out. Try running Mac OS X 10.4.1 on a Mac purchased in September. Can't do it. Intel computers can run XP SP1 if they want, or Win2000 or 98, because MSFT doesn't control the hardware.

This prediction has been debunked so many times, even from a technical point of view. Read www.roughlydrafted.com.

Give up this ridiculous notion.

Chuck | Jan 04, 2008 | 3:12PM

Look upside down for the answers: 1.) Duh. 2.) Duh. 3.) They are getting more evil over the years aren't they? 4.) Duh, but this is sort of a good thing. 5.) I see someone else buying Sprint possibly in a massive act of collusion. 6.) Burning money is fun. 7.) Dunno. 8.) I'd put my money on Windows 7 coming out in '09. 9.) If this happens and I have to put up with an even more intense year of Apple user pretentiousness, I'll be compelled to put a bullet in my head some time around Sept after being told that Apple's new mouse will not only change the way humans think, but will propel us into sonic mind space where the crystal dolphin dwells for the 5,000th time. I am a hopeless man. 10.) N/A 11.) Everyone is already doing it so why shouldn't Apple pull a David Bowie and take all the credit? 12.) Maybe, I wouldn't bet on it. 13.) Only if Apple starts giving .NET and Silverlight some magic lovin'. 14.) No, no, no. That is way too laid back an approach. You look cool when you don't look like you are trying. That takes a lot of trying. 15.) Sure Bob, just keep telling us that. :)

J. Stevens | Jan 04, 2008 | 3:13PM

Can you explain why Apple would support the winAPI rather than writing a good .NET implementation? Presumably most "big business" software is or will be written on the .NET platform? This is a win for Apple, many or most Microsoft units, and most 3rd party developers (while hurting HP, Dell, and possibly Sun). It would also drive adoption among windows developers who aren't yet using it, which has to be a good thing from MS perspective.

David | Jan 04, 2008 | 3:16PM

Can you explain why Apple would support the winAPI rather than writing a good .NET implementation? Presumably most "big business" software is or will be written on the .NET platform? This is a win for Apple, many or most Microsoft units, and most 3rd party developers (while hurting HP, Dell, and possibly Sun). It would also drive adoption among windows developers who aren't yet using it, which has to be a good thing from MS perspective.

David | Jan 04, 2008 | 3:17PM

Uh...Vista SP1 didn't ship. I don't count a beta as shipping. It counts as shipped if I hit windows update and it appears ready to download without modifying a registry key.

Hardwareguy | Jan 04, 2008 | 3:28PM

I look forward to seeing Ballmer leave Microsoft; he has been the problem. Quite simply, he lacks the technical vision Gates had, and is stifling the business with standard MBA moves.

I'd like to see Gates pick his successor. Let it be like the Gates-Ballmer days of old: techie in the lead, businessman in second chair. And they need a new Scoble.

Bryan | Jan 04, 2008 | 3:30PM

"3) Cisco will acquire Macrovision, though what they'll do with TV Guide I can't imagine."

Why, Pinky, They'll do what they do with every purchase. They'll figure out how to squeeze it into a box made by Quanta, and stick a Cisco bezel on the front and sell it. Or, it will just disappear after multiple department reorganizations kill it off.

steve | Jan 04, 2008 | 3:34PM

Number 5 -- Wow!

Google plus Sprint would result in the worst customer service! Ever!

Obie | Jan 04, 2008 | 3:35PM

The convergence will continue. Here is my wish list for this to happen:

1) 1080p LC 42" 2) Sony PS/3 driving the LCD with Blu ray and DLNA content. Where can you get a Blu ray HD DVD for 3) HD IP TV/DVR DLNA device feeding TV content to PS/3. TBD AFAIK unless rolling your own Myth system.

Cable card and Opencable are a joke similar to the Matrix which is all about control. Free your mind. TVrss.net is close. Throw in a subscriber paid service and some multicast. I will drop Comcast for TV in a heartbeat.

J. Peters | Jan 04, 2008 | 3:36PM

Post drops "less than".

1) 42" 1080 LCD less than $1k
2) Blu ray HD DVD less than $400

Buffalo Terrastation with DLNA is also close as content server just need the HD TV component. PS/3 can also run Linux. 2008 is the year for pieces to come together.

J. Peters | Jan 04, 2008 | 3:47PM

Bob said:
But since PS3s are not out of stock at my local Best Buy, I guess I got this one wrong.

This may be more because of lackluster PS3 sales than actually solving cell processor production difficulties.

Kevin Seghetti | Jan 04, 2008 | 3:49PM

13. This would be truly revolutionary, because it would be the first time that Macs were differentiated on the basis of software. The great selling point of MacOS has always been that there is one MacOS, not flavours of it. Is prediction 13a "Apple becomes Microsoft"?

Joe Bruno | Jan 04, 2008 | 3:49PM

"possibly my last?"

You getting a new job?

Feeling ok?

rY. | Jan 04, 2008 | 3:53PM

Commenting on each prediction:
1.)duh.

2.)On the money.

3.)Why would Cisco want to get into the DRM business?

4.)No. The bubble for that will pop next year.

5.)Wishful thinking. But I like that scenario.

6.)2009:The year Sam gets canned.

7.)Vista sucks, but what is incredible is that a lot of home consumers are putting up with it, than changing back to XP. (Why? Perhaps they don't want to through with aggravation of changing OSes - some retailers charge a fee to switch from Vista to XP, perhaps they don't know you can change, or maybe malaise or laziness ...) The main resistance to Vista is from small and medium businesses who can't justify costs, training, aggravation. Many of these that make any changes are switching to RHEL, SLED and other Linux configurations. What is interesting is if on the home consumer front if gOS makes bigger inroads thru WAL-MART or whether that was mainly a Christmas fluke. If the Google-centric Everest machines continue getting push from the Bentonville retailer, Linux as a platform of choice may actually get a decent foothold.

8.)I know three possible candidates - next week's column?

9.)If Jobs doesn't announce this at MacWorld, there's a licensing or patent problem.

10.)Again, duh.

11.)Tablet and the sub-notebook. First shipment of tablet is headed straight to Emeryville and Anaheim. It'll be computer of choice for cool college students and trendy business professionals. The sub-notebook will be off the market in two years.

12.)one company already has OS X license for its own tablet notebook already

13.)One PotentiAl candidate for Steve Ballmer's job seriously believes it's about time Microsoft got out of the OS business - he happens to be an admirer of OS X and Apple hardware. If he gets the job, he would do what not even a federal court could do - break Microsoft up into two, possibly three or four, separate companies.

14.)Only if Apple owns and controls it.

15.)In a pig's eye ;0o

Kevin Kunreuther | Jan 04, 2008 | 3:57PM

4) Venture capitalists will become disillusioned with their investments in technology companies that make all their revenue from advertisements. It's not that these companies will fail, they just won't make enough profit to justify their insane valuations. Think Facebook.

Facebook? I laughed out loud at that one, frightening the horses. Think 1999 - I got the worthless stock options to paper the garage as proof.

GuyFromOhio | Jan 04, 2008 | 4:22PM

I'd believe all of them except the last one. ;)

I certainly hope this is not the last predictions column. It's more fun than speculating about MacWorld (and usually more accurate).

Jon

Jon | Jan 04, 2008 | 4:23PM

Apple replacement for the mouse.
If only!

Apple tablet computer/media player.
I'd buy one.

OS X bifurcate
I doubt, I wish

Season 2 of NerdTV will finally premiere.
again, I hope!

Dave | Jan 04, 2008 | 4:33PM

#13 - Most interesting ... but while technically doable, it simply will not happen. Why? Because if Windows apps run natively on OS X, there's no reason for ISVs to truly support Mac OS X. If developers do not write native Mac OS applications, Apple no longer controls its own platform, Microsoft does.

Hell, if I was Microsoft I'd encourage this but just not support it. Imagine three years later when ISVs are happily targeting Windows APIs and Microsoft finally gets Vista working reasonably well. Bam, MS finds a way to effectively cut off Apple from using its API by adding some must-have Windows only extensions.

All this would do is give Microsoft time to catch up in the desktop operating system arena. Apple just needs to sit tight and wait for its market share to increase - which it will - and the ISVs will come.

The only way I see something LIKE this happening is one of two things:

1. Apple buys Parallels from SWsoft and simply more intimately integrates it by extending the coherence windowing mode and effectively killing the Windows in a window mode (excuse the pun). Or
2. Apple adds support for .Net APIs to Mac OS X, NOT native Windows APIs. This could simplify porting Windows apps to Mac OS X and Microsoft would probably be fine with it. For all we know, MS already did the work for this when developing Mac Office 2008, possibly built on the .Net framework to allow more common code sharing w/the Windows Office counterpart.

PS - I enjoy the predictions, hope this year's aren't the last.

Scott Rossillo | Jan 04, 2008 | 4:42PM

I just read that Shell is offshoring nearly all of its IT jobs (3200 of 3600) by July 1, 2008. Apparently, this decision was made just before Christmas. How nice of them. :(

Bob...I really hope that idoicy's reign is abdicated soon (even if it takes until 2009).

Robert | Jan 04, 2008 | 4:44PM

I always love Cringley; he may not always be right, but his perspective always raises good questions and ideas. Having said that I believe he has missed a couple of big items.
1. Apple will spin off ITMS within 18 months. Jobs and Co. are probably tiring of the high maintenance - low return of the ITMS. A spin-off will allow the service to negotiate without the baggage of Apple, and allow Apple to create a new in-house music jukebox SW...think iTunes Pro, w/out the the name itunes. Jay-Z, Bono, and other notables will be involved in this new online independent music venture. This will also allow the new ITMS to pursue the music biz without the fear of litigation from the other Apple. It also will be a way for jobs to flash the finger at big media.
2. There will be at least 2 new iphones - a simpler nano version, and a feature heavy pro model.
3. 3rd quarter will bring new FireWire, with a new home entertainment device - think AppleTV on roids.
4. Apple Inc, will sue one (on collusion charges) or more of the big media companies. It will be nasty.
5. Apple will announce an in car telematics system partnered with MB or BMW. (MB is the front-runner)
6. Apple stock will lose up to 25% of its value as consumer spending will crater, inflation soar, and the equity markets get very bi-polar.
7. MSFT will have record profits, and sales of VISTA will gain enough traction that pundits will start talking of Apple's demise, although it will be Linux that takes the early hit.
8. MSFT will be sued by a former "play for sure" partner(s). Expect a settlement.
9. Google will suffer a major outage and/or breach that will rattle its investors. Expect a major drop and then a class action lawsuit. This one will take a while and put a serious drag on Google.
10. Sony will sell one/or more divisions in order to fix their balance sheet.
11. Dell will be resurgent and give HP a serious run for 1st place.
12. Lenovo will suffer a major recall and lose sales as a result.
13. AMD will be bought out. (Think Chinese).
14. And finally, the writers strike will drag on. Expect a break over the summer.

Bruno Dexter | Jan 04, 2008 | 4:47PM

Google buying Sprint could torpedo Andriod, Google's "open mobile platform" initiative. Would I buy a handset to use on Sprint's network or wait for a "free" andriod one, albeit with advertising?

Much more likely is Sprint spinning off its WiMax group into a separate company. The WiMax group needs capital to build out its network and that capital can only come from a large private equity firm or the stock market. Sprint renegged on its deal with ClearWire due to lack of cash and is WiMax THAT much better than 3G? Most US subscribers don't even have 3G yet, why pre-switch to WiMax which still has huge infrastructure costs to bear and very limited coverage?

John | Jan 04, 2008 | 4:56PM

Google buying Sprint could torpedo Andriod, Google's "open mobile platform" initiative. Would I buy a handset to use on Sprint's network or wait for a "free" andriod one, albeit with advertising?


Much more likely is Sprint spinning off its WiMax group into a separate company. The WiMax group needs capital to build out its network and that capital can only come from a large private equity firm or the stock market. Sprint renegged on its deal with ClearWire due to lack of cash and is WiMax THAT much better than 3G? Most US subscribers don't even have 3G yet, why pre-switch to WiMax which still has huge infrastructure costs to bear and very limited coverage?

John | Jan 04, 2008 | 4:57PM

#10 needs to be stricken from the list. You can't predict something Steve Jobs announced in September, no matter how well it helps the GPA. How about replacing it with a prediction about Skype on iPhone? :)

And I'm going to prove you right on #1, I hope. :)

Bill McGonigle | Jan 04, 2008 | 5:01PM

#10 needs to be stricken from the list. You can't predict something Steve Jobs announced in September, no matter how well it helps the GPA. How about replacing it with a prediction about Skype on iPhone? :)

And I'm going to prove you right on #1, I hope. :)

Bill McGonigle | Jan 04, 2008 | 5:02PM

Bob are you sure? Are you loonie? #15 is so out there as to be unthinkable. Come up with a different #15, you're clearly out of your league with that one.

I'm looking forward to see if #2 comes to pass, I'd thought cable penetration was high enough to make it a non-issue. I'm part of the minority who doesn't have cable.

Michael R | Jan 04, 2008 | 5:47PM

I don't know, Bob, a lot of these predictions this year seem very unsurprising. The trends are already visible to outsiders in many cases. I'll give my predictions of your predictions' success, and we can laugh about them next Jan.

For 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 10, and 11, I have to absolutely agree.

1) Yup, "continue its decline" is indeed correct. We'll see convergence of most of the functions of a PC into something that fits in a pocket. Think of it as the continuation of the evolution from the desktop, to the laptop, to the iPhone-type-thing. I'll further predict that no one will know what to call it: PMP, UMPC, MID, KCF, you name it.

2) While it will not go well, I am not so sure how many people it will affect. Also expect the digital broadcast transition to be widely confused with the HD transition.

4) Along the lines of the "second bubble", this will happen to some extent. However, the extent is the real question.

6) An easy call for IBM, though I'm never comfortable with "xxx's job" predictions. They just seem too personal.

9, 10, 11) I really think that this is all the same prediction. Of course there will be a 3G iPhone. But it seems very likely that Apple will announce a tablet-like device in some form factor between an iPhone and a notebook, utilizing Multitouch as its primary input mechanism, with possibly Intel's 45nm x86 Menlow chipset powering it. It would have 802.11n and WiMax from Menlow, and I think it'd be fair to say it'd also have 3G from whichever carrier will give Apple the biggest profit sharing. And it will be launched to much fanfare. I'd go so far as to say that there will be a Menlow-based iPhone refresh in time for the 2008 holiday season.

14) I see this as likely, but not a sure thing.

7) This is a question of "to what extent". If by "indefinitely" you mean "until SP1 of Windows 7", I think it's a pretty safe bet. Vista will keep looking better as the year passes, but its sales will (continue to) come almost exclusively from new systems.

13) I'm a bit skeptical of this move coming from Apple directly. I can see it coming from Parallels, or perhaps from a partnership of Parallels and Apple, or through an acquisition of Parallels. However, whatever the case, you're right about Microsoft's position. They'll play nice and license unless OSX begins to directly compete with Windows. Since that would mean OSX on non-Apple hardware, I think we can all chuckle at that.

12) I don't see that happening the way you describe. I see OSX bifurcating into Multitouch and non-Multitouch variants, all on x86 hardware. I do not see Apple ever licensing a mobile (or any other) version of OSX. It will position itself as the high-end with OSX as opposed to the other devices described in prediction 1, perhaps running Android, perhaps running something else.

5) Now that's a really interesting one, and yep, risky, but I don't understand your argument. I follow you through the parts where they spend oodles of cash and impose open access, but you loose me after that. Google might sure be interested in WiMax, and Sprint is the logical choice there, but then why would Sprint consider building out a 700mhz network advantageous over its WiMax plans after having spent so much developing it? Remember, the spectrum is cheap compared to the cost of building the network to use it. And why is the 700mhz spectrum better suited for voice as opposed to data? Data is data, and voice is data, therefore... what is the difference? I think this is a good candidate for elaboration. Please, consider making it the focus of your next article.

No comment on 3,8, and 15. Just not my areas of expertise, especially 15.

Well, here's hoping to another interesting year. Cheers.

Aaron B Caveglia | Jan 04, 2008 | 5:56PM

Have to love this news release out of California's Dept of Education. As if California schools weren't in enough trouble!
Sigh.

State Schools Chief Jack O'Connell Announces Selection of IBM to Develop Student Achievement Data System

SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell today announced the selection of IBM's Global Business Services division to develop the California Department of Education's California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS).

"The selection of a world business leader such as IBM to develop our pupil tracking system is an important step toward building more accurate information to measure student performance over time," said O'Connell. "As we seek to close the achievement gap and educate all students to succeed in the global economy, we must have reliable data to drive decisions and target programs to help all students achieve academically."

"IBM is pleased to have this opportunity to support the state's educators as they help students meet the learning challenges of the global economy," said Michael King, Vice President, IBM Education Industry. "This innovative approach to education will be a leading example of collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and information access that will serve as a model for other state school systems."

CALPADS will collect, maintain, and report statewide information on pupil assessments, enrollment, teacher assignments, and other elements that will be used to track graduation and dropout rates, provide appropriate student services, and better measure student performance over time. CALPADS is also the cornerstone for compliance with the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 that measures increased accountability for student achievement. To fully comply with federal law, CALPADS was needed to track individual student enrollment history and achievement data longitudinally that the current California Basic Educational Data System was not designed to perform.

John | Jan 04, 2008 | 6:24PM

Regarding, "no Internet-only song would win a Grammy or even be recognized as existing," I would say that the Radiohead album, which was initially released only on the internet, got some publicity. Maybe you were originally thinking of Jonathon Coulton not Radiohead, but I would contest Radiohead did give the Internet some publicity as an alternative to record labels.

Steven Peters | Jan 04, 2008 | 6:24PM

Have to love this news release out of California's Dept of Education. As if California schools weren't in enough trouble!
Sigh.

State Schools Chief Jack O'Connell Announces Selection of IBM to Develop Student Achievement Data System

SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell today announced the selection of IBM's Global Business Services division to develop the California Department of Education's California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS).

"The selection of a world business leader such as IBM to develop our pupil tracking system is an important step toward building more accurate information to measure student performance over time," said O'Connell. "As we seek to close the achievement gap and educate all students to succeed in the global economy, we must have reliable data to drive decisions and target programs to help all students achieve academically."

"IBM is pleased to have this opportunity to support the state's educators as they help students meet the learning challenges of the global economy," said Michael King, Vice President, IBM Education Industry. "This innovative approach to education will be a leading example of collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and information access that will serve as a model for other state school systems."

CALPADS will collect, maintain, and report statewide information on pupil assessments, enrollment, teacher assignments, and other elements that will be used to track graduation and dropout rates, provide appropriate student services, and better measure student performance over time. CALPADS is also the cornerstone for compliance with the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 that measures increased accountability for student achievement. To fully comply with federal law, CALPADS was needed to track individual student enrollment history and achievement data longitudinally that the current California Basic Educational Data System was not designed to perform.

John | Jan 04, 2008 | 6:25PM

I predict that Mr. Cringely will learn how to silence his phone during the recording of his audio podcasts, thus making them even more enjoyable from week to week. (end sarcasm)

I do look forward to your podcasts each week. Keep up the great work in '08!

Chris | Jan 04, 2008 | 6:31PM

"1) The personal computer will decline (or continue its decline) as our key IT platform"

Key IT platform is too vague. Desktop PCs are being replaced by notebooks, subnotebooks and tablets, while phones continue to add functionality. What qualifies as a replacement? Smart phone? Tablet? Sub-tablet?

I say scratch this prediction, it's too vague.

"2) The DTV conversion, [...] is going to be an absolute disaster."

This is another obvious prediction. Anything so huge as a nationwide infrastructure changeover is always going to have many issues. Has any nationwide infrastructure conversion ever happened without major issues? No. This prediction is too obvious, so scrap it, I say.

"3) Cisco will acquire Macrovision, though what they'll do with TV Guide I can't imagine."

They'll do the smart thing - they'll sell TV Guide for good bucks, but bear in mind that TV Guide usage is declining also because of DTV digital guides.

"4) Venture capitalists will become disillusioned with their investments in technology companies that make all their revenue from advertisements."

This happened with the dot com bubble already, and naturally with irrational exuberance from VCs it will continue to happen. If you can come up with five or six concrete examples in Jan 2009, I'll consider that a correct prediction.

"7) Microsoft will indefinitely extend the life of Windows XP, acknowledging the failure of Windows Vista"

Too obvious. We've had plenty of time to see this headache forming for Microsoft. Scratch this one.


"9) As part of its transition from a PC company to a consumer electronics and content company,
Apple will introduce -- and trumpet in a huge media show -- its replacement for the mouse. Really."

I say no on this one. Maybe you'll be able to use the iPhone and iPod Touch as touchpads for the Mac, but Apple wouldn't dare try to replace the mouse. It may make a better mouse, though.

"10) A 3G iPhone is coming. I know the CEO of AT&T already blurted this out, but I had it first so it goes on my list."

It's coming regardless of the year, so this one isn't a prediction, it's a statement of fact. Scratch it.

"11) Apple will introduce a subnotebook/tablet computer/media player."

This is much too vague, especially for Apple. What will be the main, unique features of this device that aren't already present in the iPod Touch, iPhone, and MacBooks? That would be much better material for a prediction than three very broad, very vague categories. If you can reply with that I'll consider this a prediction based on those features.

"12) Along the same lines look for OS X to bifurcate clearly into two lines"

This has happened already. This operating system has been known as NeXTStep, OpenStep, OS X Preview, and now Mac OS X.

As for licensing to Sony... I say no. Sony doesn't get it and is too proud to beg; Sony has been making a lot of bad steps lately, and I believe the company is too proud and proprietary to go to Apple.

"13) Here's one that will totally blow your mind: Apple will build into some Macs support for the Windows API"

This one seems very obvious. There are Apple APIs on Windows via QuickTime and Safari, it only makes sense for Apple to do the same. After all, it would definitely be the "real Vista" for Apple to do so, as you say.

"14) I still see Apple dumping Akamai for a Google-based content distribution network."

Not with the sheer functionality that Akamai now offers Apple. Google has a LOT of work to catch up to what Akamai currently offers. After all, Akamai has been around for years in the business, and has the ability to cache and speed up both static and dynamic media, and Apple makes heavy use of Akamai, from what I understand.

"15) Season 2 of NerdTV will finally premiere."

It's been so long in the making that I thought that Season 2 was going to be added to some lists of vaporware. :P

Good luck with everything this year, Bob.

Graham | Jan 04, 2008 | 6:46PM

"... possibly my last."

Are you planning on retiring from Technology Journaling?

and just devote your time to go to the moon ?

Alejandro Garcia | Jan 04, 2008 | 7:30PM

"A new year has arrived and with it another predictions column, **possibly my last**"

Can you explain the above more?

Paramveer Singh | Jan 04, 2008 | 7:37PM

"outsourcing and offshoring"
Machiavelli said:
'Mercenaries are a bad idea. If they are competent, they will take your country away from you; if not, they will lose it for you'
Dean's corollary:
Outsourcing and offshoring is the employment of economic mercenaries; you will lose your company and your country, its economic base.

Stewart Dean | Jan 04, 2008 | 7:41PM

The variation of your title with which I'm familiar is "often wrong, but never in doubt".

Wally Webster | Jan 04, 2008 | 8:06PM

#2 is the most obvious prediction and it will be fun to watch this train wreck take place. The frequencies will have been sold for mega billions and analog broadcasts will have to end. I don't think the people planning this switchover have any idea of the storm that is coming their way. They think that a voucher to help offset the cost of a converter will make folks happy.

The consumer will have to apply for a voucher, go buy the box, hook it up and get it working. Many will need a new antenna aimed in a new direction, maybe even a high mast to get a clean look at the transmitter. I have done a lot of rural TV installations and they are almost never easy.

We are talking about millions of citizens in every county of every state. They have to do all this just to get what they already had. Some will do all of this only to end up with a crappier picture than they started with. Every member of congress be flooded with complaints. They will get involved and muck it up even worse. Watching this will be more fun than any sitcom.

Oh, and Bob, I WANT MY NERD TV

sunder | Jan 04, 2008 | 8:08PM

"possibly my last". What makes you say that, Bob?

Morley Chalmers | Jan 04, 2008 | 8:52PM

"possibly my last". What makes you say that, Bob?

Morley Chalmers | Jan 04, 2008 | 8:54PM

I know what Cisco will do with TV Guide! Their Scientific Atlanta division, which makes cable set top boxes, is going to rebrand all the new models as "Cisco" cable boxes!

Guess what cable tv boxes need? TV Guide!

Also, Gemstar owns a ton of patents in the set top box field, ensuring that Cisco will A. get licensing revenue and B. get access to any other patents they need for set top boxes.

Cisco is recasting "cable TV" and instead saying that their new boxes are for "visual networking" - hello MPEG-4 IP multicast?

Johnathan | Jan 04, 2008 | 9:05PM

Bob - on Burst - did ya ever get more info or develop any other theories about what happened re their settlement with Apple?

John | Jan 04, 2008 | 9:49PM

Boy, I sure hope you're right about NerdTV season 2. I've been looking forward to that for over a year now.

Leif Wickland | Jan 04, 2008 | 10:27PM

my prediction: nerdtv s02e01's s\/p3r s3kr1t guest will be either

(1) donald knuth

or

(2) not worth the wait

anonymous coward | Jan 04, 2008 | 10:33PM

What? No prediction of an iPhone MINUS the iPod? Com'n, doesn't Steve know that NOT EVERYBODY wants a music player in their cell phone?

Seriously, it's hard to belive this doesn't exist already.

Jack at Fork & Bottle | Jan 04, 2008 | 11:46PM

"In Rainbows" wasn't recognized as existing?

Bret | Jan 04, 2008 | 11:50PM

We can let you have prediction 10 about the 3G iPhone, but we then have to take away your prediction that Windows Vista will succeed. As you said at the end of 2006, "What a waste of good punditry: of course Vista will succeed, and those who think it will fail simply do not know what they are talking about."

http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2006/pulpit_20061208_001308.html

ploeg | Jan 04, 2008 | 11:54PM

Why "possibly my last"?

Barry | Jan 05, 2008 | 12:06AM

As for Vista failing, well, most people think that it's a failure. Speaking for myself, I've been using Vista Home Basic for personal use for a couple of months now, and it works about as well as XP. The real failure is that, when Vista works well, it works only about as well as XP SP2, and not leaps and bounds better. And of course, Vista is not goosing PC sales like it was supposed to do. So five years and billions in R&D down the tubes.

ploeg | Jan 05, 2008 | 12:12AM

I often heard it said that the computer will have "made it" when you don't know know many you have. Electric motor have "made it" and it seems computers are moving in that direction. Bully!

Mike | Jan 05, 2008 | 12:17AM

I can believe the first 14 - but Season 2 of Nerd TV. Come on.....

kevin | Jan 05, 2008 | 12:22AM

I keep reading this stuff about Vista being a failure - I can't comment on the commercial aspects, but I can tell you I've been using it since last January on a reasonably good computer (2 gig ram, 256 mb graphics card and AMD dual processor)and really like it.

It looks better than XP, is not slower than XP (in my experience) and has lots of useful built in tools (like search).Everytime I use my kid's PCs (which still have XP) it just feels bad and old-fashioned.

There must be something I'm missing, but I can't figure out what's so bad about Vista. Oh, and by the way I haven't had a single blue screen in 12 months, my Pc freezes due to multi-tasking overload about once a month and I haven't had any viruses or trojans - a significant improvement on my experience with XP.

Matthew | Jan 05, 2008 | 12:56AM

from a sports perspective, anything above .500 isn't bad and can sometimes be great. A 61% record in most major sports, (the NBA around 50 victories, NFL around 9-10 wins, MLB around 98 victories) gets you into the playoffs in most sports. Don't even look at batting avg. passing comp. or field goal per.

so don't be to hard on yourself, failure is the the precursor to success.

Rahsaan | Jan 05, 2008 | 1:26AM

I can only hope prediction number 12 is incorrect. I like the sounds of five though.

Chad Denyar | Jan 05, 2008 | 1:37AM

My predictions:




Active users of mobile 3G technologies will increasingly realize their need for "documents anywhere", proliferating the use of servers for storage of personal documents, and bringing web-based applications such as Google Docs into the mainstream.

OLED HDTVs will begin to make very slow inroads and start to seriously register on the horizon of the tech-savvy, on their way to eventual total dominance in future years.

At the end of the year, SED HDTVs will once again be officially reported as "just around the corner".

Breakthroughs in OLED lighting technologies will be announced.

Cable technologies:

- OCAP / OpenCable / Tru2Way(?) will finally begin to deploy.

- The industry will increasingly come to grips with the fact that it will have to transition from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4, now that its just figured out MPEG-2.

- The industry will zero in on its choice for the technology it will implement in the future in order to drop its existing analog channels from the bandwidth spectrum.

- The serious (total?) lack of technical understanding of the upper-level management responsible for these decisions will be problematic (as usual).

LCD TVs: 1080p with LED backlights and 120Hz refresh will become increasingly ubiquitous, and 1080p will (finally) appear in smaller screen-sizes in bulk. 720p displays will be phased out, larger sizes first (obviously).

Wishful thinking: some manufacturer will come out with state-of-the-art "video eyeglasses" at a reasonable price-point with a resolution higher than 640x480, perfect for use on a treadmill / elliptical exerciser.

#2 The DTV Transition:

- This is going to be wild.

- A lot of cable/satellite subscribers are going to be confused, thinking that they have to "do" something.

- Fun fact: most techies don't yet realize it, but the coupons are limited to converter-boxes with analog-output; they don't cover boxes with digital-output, leaving "early adopter" purchasers of "HD-ready" TVs (like me) out in the cold.

- Many of the analog TV owners who need a converter-box will have no clue how to connect one, and will be totally helpless. Think elderly widows, etc. They PARTICULARLY will be stumped by the need to run the initial "auto-channel" setup process to search for the local digital stations.

- Many of the analog TV owners who DO know how to connect a converter-box will discover that they're stuck using the RF input-connector, since all of their audio/video inputs are already in use for VCRs and DVD players. And if they have an S-video input open, they may not realize what its for.

- Users who have never experienced this will be confused to find that they must now use 2 remotes, one new one just to tune the channels. The new remote may be programmable, which will cause even more confusion.

- User's existing antennas will be primarily optimized for VHS and may not work as well as one intended for UHF frequencies. Interestingly, converter-boxes can include an optional second RF-input for the new generation of "smart antennas", and these will presumably be pushed by Radio Shack etc.

MarkyMark | Jan 05, 2008 | 1:39AM

Hi,

You didnt mention anything about IPv6 or Silverlight?

Any thoughts on either of these?

(Good article by the way)

Khuram Malik | Jan 05, 2008 | 4:43AM

"A new year has arrived and with it another predictions column, possibly my last..."

Say what? Why on earth would you not make any more predictions? It's in your nature to prognosticate, and besides, it gives your faithful readers so much joy?!!

Bob, don't do this to us. Pleeeease!!!!!!

Mark McCormick | Jan 05, 2008 | 5:58AM

I don't care if every last cranky armchair prognosticator tells you you're full of it up to your neck, Cringely, I want my yearly predictions (and the last-year's wrap-ups) to continue unabated and without interruption.

John | Jan 05, 2008 | 7:15AM

You see it in the poll. Keep the yearly predictions coming. They're really appreciated! And don't go conservative, either. 61.5% on these kinds of predictions is not bad, just not up to your normal handicap.

straka | Jan 05, 2008 | 8:14AM

Don't stop with the prognostications, Bob. You could practically trademark them.

Jeff | Jan 05, 2008 | 8:57AM

Bob, I regularly read your column. And I love reading your predictions. You admit when you're wrong, and when you were right. Pretty unusual nowadays.... Please don't stop!

Chuck Rasmus | Jan 05, 2008 | 10:07AM

Bob -

I've been reading you for more years than I'd care to admit - keep up the predictions, it's always fun to go back and read them after the year is through.

James | Jan 05, 2008 | 10:47AM

You open the column, by stating, "A new year has arrived and with it another predictions column, possibly my last." Please don't tease us with "MY LAST". Keep them coming... ! Health to everyone in 2008.

William | Jan 05, 2008 | 11:10AM

In your 2007 predictions you predicted "Windows Vista SP1 ships in June". Not only did it not ship in June but even now at the start of 2008 it is only available as a beta.

Brendan | Jan 05, 2008 | 11:38AM

I think you are probably right to predict that Apple will build support for the Windows API into some Macs, mainly because in 2008 true quad-core CPUs will be readily available which will make it easier to run two operating systems on one machine at the same time with two cores for each OS, without putting too much of a strain on either the hardware or the OS's.

I'm not so sure that they will do it with the permission of Microsoft, because you revealed on 20 April 2006 that Apple does not even need permission from Microsoft to run Windows XP natively on Mac because of a patent cross-licensing agreement that Apple and MS signed in 1997. And hardly any customer wants any version of Windows after XP (ie. Vista) anyway.

I would add to your prediction and say that PC makers (maybe even Dell and HP) will, for the same reason given above, start to make available computers that can run both Linux and Windows (under Wine) at the same time.

Brendan | Jan 05, 2008 | 11:46AM

Does anybody take this guy seriously anymore? Especially since he decided he was going to the moon? And most of his predictions involve something along the lines of Apple/Google will finally stop the Microsoft juggernaut.

Lord Balto | Jan 05, 2008 | 4:11PM

TECHNOLOGY--ABOUT A D-
Technology will continue to disappoint consumers. Too much of it today requires an understanding its inside. This is great for nerd-types.
To be continually useful a device should not have to be understood in order to be used!
Would you buy a shovel if you had to understand the physical properties of the handle in order to dig a hole?

"TO SERVE YOU BETTER..."
But they don't. A badly stretched truth! Within a few years, maybe sooner, the popular but insane idea of computerized answering systems will generate significant customer disgust and backlash. To serve you better...translation: to save us money!
The Galatic Empire may or may not wake up in time.

Djacque | Jan 05, 2008 | 4:35PM

Some of your ideas on licensing if they come true would turn the market of PC operating system upside down. Who would not want that? today it's a monopoly that's in need of some serious scrutiny..and real competition. I dont think vista is a failure considering the shape vista is in it a success to get som many as 60+ miliion to change from XP to Vista. Even more is the success of charging customers for the pleasuer of downgrading their computer from Vista.. my hat of to redmond´for that magic trick :)

You may have some "outhere ideas" but you will be proven right on many of them, if not this year it will happen within the next 5 years or so.

sofarsogood | Jan 05, 2008 | 4:38PM

I'm confident in all your predictions except the one you actually have control over.

I doubt we'll actually see NerdTV Season 2 in 2008 :P

mikeal | Jan 05, 2008 | 4:57PM

7) Microsoft will indefinitely extend the life of Windows XP,...

Let the critics say what they will, Bob, that's a pretty bold call. I'm eager to see what actually does happen...

Riley | Jan 05, 2008 | 7:28PM

I have a feeling that Apple won't license OS X because there is no money in it.

Right now, Microsoft is hitting the wall on licensing. A windows license is becoming the most expensive part of the PC, and manufacturers are starting to play around with Linux for a consumer desktop. It isn't there yet, but the pressure is on.

If enough PCs are sold with Linux on them -- both low end consumer products and high end servers -- PC manufacturers are going to start thinking about whether or not it is worth paying Microsoft a licensing fee for each and every PC.

Plus, there will soon be a question of what exactly is a PC. Is that hand held thing that plays music a PC? What if the underlying OS is Linux -- maybe based upon Android? What if that music playing thing also gets Internet access, and has some embedded applications? What if you can connect a keyboard and monitor to it?

The last thing Microsoft needs is to lose its monopoly. They'll give away Vista Home Basic if that'll keep their Windows monopoly on the PC. At least this way, people will still buy Microsoft Office. Besides, they might make some money when people upgrade to Vista Home Premium.

And, if Microsoft is having problems making money licensing Windows, how is Apple going to make any money off of it? Of course, after the fall of Gateway Computer Centers, I thought the Apple Store concept was a looser too. Maybe Apple will find a way to make money with licensing.

I also doubt that Apple will go to the "enterprise" market and compete in the business world with HP. There's not much money in it. It's a headache to support too. That's why Dell is in such straights. They wanted to be big in the business world, and in order to do that, they built commodity PCs that no one really wanted. You go by any financial firms in New York, and there's a Dell on every desktop and all the corporate laptops are also Dell.

That doesn't mean Apple won't sell Macs and PowerBooks in the business world. They just won't do it officially. It's like the iPhone. In the New York City financial world, all the big time execs have their iPhone which they got from their firm -- even though it meant dragging their IT departments kicking and screaming to support it. It took a lot of hacking to get the iPhone supported on our corporate network, but we did it. We hate Apple for that.

I'm sure Apple will come up with some really nice goody this January that all the bigwigs will salivate over, buy in droves and then insist that they get to use it on the corporate networks, and we'll hate Apple for that too. Apple might make corporate inroads, but it will be on their terms and not the corporations. Apple won't go corporate if it involves producing commodity products.

By the way, as much as we hate Apple for producing really cool products that were never made for corporate networks, but made the products so cool, that all of our executive officers went out and bought one and now insist we have to support it (and without any help from Apple). We hate Microsoft for producing things like SQL Server, IIS, and .NET. Talk about a pain to support!

David W. | Jan 05, 2008 | 10:51PM

1. OS X already exists in a free version - Darwin. It doesn't have Apple's proprietary software - such as Quicktime, Core Audio, Core Graphics, etc. Sony or any one else can get the source code for Darwin and go to town developing things with it. Of course, it takes millions of dollars to come up with a commercial system like Mac OS X. Thus I don't expect much, even with free software.

2. I hope Microsoft indefinitely extends the life of Windows XP. It will cause Bill Gates to have a very red face.

3. With Parallels, there is no need for Apple to use Microsoft's APIs. It wouldn't sell more Macs anyway.

4. 3G iPhone is a given.

5. Most of IBM's earnings is in services. So why would they sell it? No way.

6. The Personal PC will be even more popular as our main IT platform. It will be the center of it - as Jobs envisioned. With the one-laptop-per-child program, even more people will have a Personal PC. The internet is not reliable for other gadgets to use directly.

James Katt | Jan 05, 2008 | 11:44PM

Bob,

I think you were wrong on DRM. A new standard has emerged, thanks to the Amazon MP3 store, and that standard is NONE.

DRM for music is over. It will only be a matter of time until DRM for video follows suit.


Jason | Jan 06, 2008 | 12:05AM

Most of IBM's earnings is in services. So why would they sell it? No way.

Most of IBM's earnings are in services. Services aren't so hot when it comes to profits, however. You have to hire people to provide the services, after all. It was hoped that IBM could automate services enough to make services consistently profitable, and that services could otherwise kick enough business over to software and systems to make it worthwhile. That hasn't proven to be the case, which is why IBM's focus has shifted over to software and financing.

ploeg | Jan 06, 2008 | 1:17AM

"SP1 shipped, so I was right."

You're a bit cheating, Bob! :-) Vista SP1 is still in beta.

Jack | Jan 06, 2008 | 5:57AM

It is not possible for IBM to have several bad quarters in 2008. 4 tops!

greg | Jan 06, 2008 | 6:42AM

So Bob - Do you take the bus to work? I thought you missed an obvious one here. What do you think of the idea of Google, Cingular and Apple going after the GPS navigation market with the iTablet or whatever it would be called? I see this size of a "unit" to be ideal for video + web surfing + navigation + all sorts of other things. Google would capture more of a captive audience to which they could then advertise relentlessly. The current loyal Google "searchers" would be combined with these "navigators" and Google would be able exploit synergies with their google earth capabilities. This would exponentially drive up the number of sites where they could advertise and because of this near monopoly they would be able to command more in their advertising business model. Am I on glue?

Tom Robinson | Jan 06, 2008 | 10:20AM

quote;
"A new year has arrived and with it another predictions column, possibly my last. "

Are you going to take the place of Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer?

If yes, creationist are right! God exists! (But is a black woman)

Luis Alejandro Masanti | Jan 06, 2008 | 10:58AM

Prediction - Google will roll out its consumer-oriented hosted disk space offering (Platypus?), which will destroy all online backup competition, including my own still-incubating Fubario program.

Erich | Jan 06, 2008 | 6:10PM

Windows API on Apple from Microsoft. Hah.
I seem to remember you predicted this a couple of years ago.

You act as if the windows API is a nice neat modular design that is easily ported to Apple, and that Microsoft actually understands what they have and how it works. Wrong.

What is possible, is a seamless zero configuration virtualization that includes the whole of windows xp. This will work and can be delivered quickly. Just modify a few device drivers, handle cut and paste, and deal with printing.

If apple/microsoft try to make a windows API on OSX, the result will be about the same quality as Wine and take about as long to complete.

Bert Douglas | Jan 06, 2008 | 7:37PM

Bob,

I can't see Apple wanting to include the WIN32API in OSX. Virtualization - now that makes sense, but not including the API.

Second, there really isn't much difference between "Mac OSX" and "OSX". They are the same thing. Don't forget that OSX is BSD based, and compiling it for another processor is not a big deal. Oh, the interface is different between IPod/IPhone/Apple TV/Mac but again that's not a big deal, it's surface (like a coat of paint).

Due to Microsoft, Sony, IBM, Dell, et al shooting themselves in the foot on a regular basis Apple has become a major player in the consumer electronics market, along with Nintendo. Both companies supplied a product that:

1) appealed to consumers
2) was easy to use
3) was well built

And that is what it comes down to - find out what consumers want and give it to them. Finding out what other companies want, and giving to the consumer is a fine way to commit suicide, as Microsoft has found out with Vista.

I think that 2008 should be an interesting year.

Wayne | Jan 06, 2008 | 9:23PM

If 2007 was a close call I'm surprised you're not refreshing last year's prediction of an Internet crash due to overload(?) (Imgine the boon for VOIP if Internet porn were outlawed!)

Rich | Jan 06, 2008 | 11:25PM

If apple/microsoft try to make a windows API on OSX, the result will be about the same quality as Wine and take about as long to complete.
Bert Douglas | Jan 06, 2008 | 7:37PM

Apple has had this up in running in lab for years. It works. Flawlessly. This really isn't a prediction this time - it IS going to happen - that is, it will be commercially available - geared towards businesses and universities at first - but all macs will eventually have this ability - this is a stop-gap for Microsoft until it decides whether or not it wants to stay in the PC OS game.
BTW, Microsoft will stay involved in embedded OS for awhile. It has success in that field.

Kevin Kunreuther | Jan 07, 2008 | 4:54AM

I said no one DRM technology would emerge as the winner and no Internet-only song would win a Grammy or even be recognized as existing. This was correct.
How about the Radiohead album, 'In Rainbows'? It was released internet-only, received huge amounts of press for it, and garnered critical acclaim (http://www.metacritic.com/music/artists/radiohead/inrainbows?q=in%20rainbows). Sorry, but I think you got half this prediction wrong.

Tom Ellis | Jan 07, 2008 | 9:33AM

re: "In Rainbows"
i suggest you read this interview with thom yorke of radiohead:
http://www.wired.com/entertainment/music/magazine/16-01/ff_yorke


the relevant quote is "

Byrne: So when the album comes out as a physical CD in January, will you hire your own marketing firm?


Yorke: No. It starts to get a bit more traditional. When we first came up with the idea, we weren't going to do a normal physical CD at all. But after a while it was like, well, that's just snobbery. [Laughter.] A, that's asking for trouble, and B, it's snobbery. So now they're talking about putting it on the radio and that sort of thing. I guess that's normal."



so, it looks like they are hedging their bets...in which case i say this prediction is correct, at least until someone releases online only. period.

jason | Jan 07, 2008 | 10:21AM

I predict that my take home pay from my employer -an IT services provider- will be cut because they think we're overcompensated. Oh wait, that was already announced before Christmas.

anonymous coward | Jan 07, 2008 | 10:33AM


Apple, Apple, Apple (Rubarb, Rubarb) ... looks like they are they only game in town ... does this mean we should get our hands on as much APPL as is humanly possible?

Joe H. | Jan 07, 2008 | 10:42AM

Some glitch seems to have dropped the words "...while Steve Jobs is CEO" from the end of your 13th prediction.

Ex | Jan 07, 2008 | 11:27AM

Bob - you need to state very clearly whether or not you own shares in the companies that you are commenting on. I am NOT a lawyer, but I have a feeling that you are opening up some considerable risk to yourself if you are commenting on companies such as Burst and/or Apple and not specifying that you own shares.

In this column you imply that you own shares in Burst. (Third para, line 2)

Happy new year! (great fan!)

deltavee | Jan 07, 2008 | 11:46AM

I don't think you can claim the Burst.com prediction. You predicted an epic settlement, they got "go away and STFU" money (expected legal costs of crushing them multiplied by risk factor).

Tonio | Jan 07, 2008 | 12:23PM

One further reason the net didn't melt is ISP's (such as Comcast) have stepped up terminating people's internet access when they "use it too much". That's why the net is just fine, if you use it too much (it varies from region to region), you are terminated for 12 months.

It happened to me which is why I'm advocating Network neutrality and fiber to the home projects such as utopianet.org or Verizon FioS.

Competition simply drives companies like Comcast crazy :-)

u235sentinel | Jan 07, 2008 | 12:31PM

"A 3G iPhone is coming. I know the CEO of AT&T already blurted this out, but I had it first so it goes on my list."

Yeah, and Jobs himself said so at an Apple store opening in London last September.

Is it a prediction when already announced by the CEO?

Michael Long | Jan 07, 2008 | 1:18PM

Sure Nerd TV season 2 will premier! Kinda like it was supposed to for the past 2 years? I call vaporware, though I truly hope you prove me wrong.

Ryan | Jan 07, 2008 | 1:26PM

Always interesting predictions. The one I'm most skeptical of is # 15 though... ; )

Kirk | Jan 07, 2008 | 1:50PM

Bob, I think you're not enjoying these prediction columns because you've put so much pressure on yourself to be right. 62% is great when you're cooking up theories and spotting possible trends. Right or wrong, each prediction gives us something to discuss and keep an eye out for. Forecasting the future should be fun!

Bryan | Jan 07, 2008 | 3:58PM

1) The price of RAM will continue to decrease.

2) The number of cores on a chip will continue to increase.

Why skip the easy ones?

JFred | Jan 08, 2008 | 5:06AM

Although technically correct about Apple
settling with Burst.com, you were very
wrong about the essence of your prediction
which was that Burst had some intellectual
property of value. Apple simply payed them
about what it would have cost them to win
the case in court.

MelJM | Jan 08, 2008 | 11:56AM

my prediction: nerdtv s02e01 guest will be Mark Cuban discussing uncompressed hd sent via UPS on hard drives.

ryan | Jan 08, 2008 | 12:54PM


No internet-only music would be recognized?

Radiohead's "In Rainbows", although now out in regular CD form, was released web-only to much critical acclaim.

Jasper Konrad | Jan 08, 2008 | 1:10PM

"A new year has arrived and with it another predictions column, possibly my last".

If this counts like another prediction, I hope it is wrong......

Happy New Year!

JaviWan | Jan 08, 2008 | 4:20PM

What crap dude...
How is #1 a prediction. Dont assume readers are dumb.
#10 any one who has a product that supports data on the cell phone network "HAS" to support 3G at some time in the future... how could this ever be a prediction? It is common sense...
#11 romours have been going on for months about this... Is this blog just a copy/paste site?

Mr Skeptic | Jan 08, 2008 | 7:18PM

my prediction is that web 2.0 will begin to get old and people will start to look for something new.

tim summers | Jan 08, 2008 | 9:17PM

i predict IBM profits will soar... er, Bill Gates will replace Sam Palma..uh, IBM will continue to ship all possible non-executive North American and European jobs to countries that probably still have children working in mines...scratch that.. children working on California's Educational System software.

ever onward | Jan 08, 2008 | 10:24PM

Thank you again for your list of predictions. I have been following them for 10+ years now and it is my favorite column. It takes a lot of courage to make a prediction and then go back and score yourself. I have yet to find a journalist in the tech industry, other than you, who attempts this.

Keep up the good work and I look forward to reading your results next year.

Richard | Jan 08, 2008 | 10:31PM

Why possibly your last predictions column, Bob? You're so good at it ;)

Ian | Jan 09, 2008 | 5:27AM

What about AMD, at 5 DLLS per share what do you think it will happen, Who could benefit more from a take over, Apple, Nvidia, Samsung, Microsoft, Google, some other company.

Fernando Palma | Jan 09, 2008 | 2:39PM

I want to say that to get as much as 60% correct is phenomenal. Think about it. If you took an Eskimo out of the artic and had him make predictions he'd get 0%! I am always impressed by your insight and find your arties entertaining and enlightening. Alot of your stuff consists of good ideas that simply go unimplemented.

Fred | Jan 09, 2008 | 9:29PM

Hey, wasn't that Bubbly song an internet-only hit until it finally went to CD?

oculos | Jan 10, 2008 | 7:50AM

For those of you who find it easier to read Spanish, I've just finished the translation of this column. You can find it here: http://enreas.com/wiki/Yo-Cringely/Siempre-certero-a-veces-acertado

Juan Diego | Jan 10, 2008 | 10:31AM

Bob -- why would anyone want to run a virtual Linux instance when they're already on a perfectly good Unix operating system, and most of the important Linux software is open source and ported? The answer is because you specifically want a virtual instance.

This is not a bad answer as to why you'd still want to be able to run Windows virtually; I already do for security reasons. Let the next browser vulnerability trash my virtual machine -- there's plenty more where that came from. I already do a lot of my professional work on virtual machines, which I copy to an external drive. When the CPU fan on my laptop dies (as it did recently), I just plug the external drive in to a different machine and keep working.

Back in the day, we endured things like DLL hell because we didn't have enough memory or disk space. Now we have vast amounts of memory, CPU and disk space relative to what you need to run a virtualized OS. So it makes no sense to complicate an operating system by adding a totally foreign set of features to it that are certain to be security and bug problems. Rather it makes sense to make virtual machines more convenient to use, providing the ability to display application windows from different machines together and to cut and paste between them, as we can already do on traditional Unix GUIs.

grumpynerd | Jan 10, 2008 | 1:25PM

I tend to agree with grumpynerd. With both VMWare and Parallels allowing "on the desktop" type of virtualization (called Unity in VMWare) the need to have the APIs in the OS seem lessened. Add in security, etc and I see his point.

joe | Jan 11, 2008 | 11:41AM

i fail to see why you think AAPL would dump AKAM, AAPl was one of the original investors and has worked hand in hand with AKAM to get their services down to a science. also GOOG simply doesnt have a CDN service, let alone one as developed and tested as AKAM. seems unlikely AAPl would do that, perhaps use another CDN in addition to AKAM, like LLNW, but not dump AKAM all together to switch to a brand new and untested CDN. no way man.

boss | Jan 11, 2008 | 12:13PM

Bob

How about a discription for dummy's of a Linux system
that would cover email, .doc files, excel files, maybe even power point files.

A small simple system that a small business man could use with out being a target of MS and Apple scammers.

Now if this works is there virus software for Linux?

There are a lot of us who use computers for business and waste a tremendous amount of time just trying to keep a system up and quote "fast".

We would even pay money for a proven system.

I feel computers get slowed down every year they are supposed to be faster. Yes the data says they are faster but the MS word system makes hard just to type a simple letter.

What do you think.


Thanks
Bob

Bob Squitieri | Jan 11, 2008 | 12:21PM

i fail to see why you think AAPL would dump AKAM, AAPl was one of the original investors and has worked hand in hand with AKAM to get their services down to a science. also GOOG simply doesnt have a CDN service, let alone one as developed and tested as AKAM. seems unlikely AAPl would do that, perhaps use another CDN in addition to AKAM, like LLNW, but not dump AKAM all together to switch to a brand new and untested CDN. no way man.

shaun | Jan 11, 2008 | 12:38PM

Five Apple-based predictions? You *do* realise that outside of the US, Apple is a minority sport? A bit like Baseball - part of the American Life but essentially parochial.

fatlimey | Jan 11, 2008 | 4:46PM

Hello Bob,








Tiered-usage Internet access-Pricing will become a pragmatic need.





The Tablet PC, or Dumb LCD-with wifi, will finally start to gain traction.






By the end of the year, NXT-like combined sound, vision, haptic and thin interfaces will be presented in a glut, and expected in all hype-needing designs.







People will still mainly use their phones for talking!







Apple will consolidate its position in media-distribution, be more flexible, possibly replace the appleTV within the 3g iPhone and new sub-notebook.








Microsoft will be willing to buy-in management-talent to be more aggressive on the priority fronts.





The war of the living room will be between sony and xbox on one side, and google and apple on the other, with apple willing to liberally license itunes/osx-lite and google seeing all content through the prism of youtube





People will realise that social networks are the bulletin-board- like walled-gardens of the new millenium, demand openness, and simply go back to distributed portals!





Someone will try to build a cross-platform (hardware and software) social-network that will just not build the ubiquitous traction of their web-pc counterparts.





Apple might buy Akamai





An Innovation will come from within the cable/middleware sector.





Consumers technological reference will still come from consumer electronics companies rather then the tech. industry/sensibilities.





iPhone will have hardly any unique propositions and will still get a luke-warm response fron asia and europe, except for its attached contracts.





The mobile networks only firewall against the wild, open web will be their data-rates -this will be a defining year of their business-model, structure, content value-proposition, control, ownership.
One of the more forsightful or needy soc.net's will be integrated wholesale with mobile post some m+a.





Private equity will move in on old media to drive into new media, and those left behind will be on the road to ex-growth.





Video-hosting sites will consolidate, but the industry/money will move higher up the value-chain.





Community and hyper-local will be the new new" re-focus of interest.





ISP's will start to be more than dumb pipe utilities.





Television will start to be an all-digital input (camera) to output (display) work-flow ( www.pro.forscene.net/trial ).
and even more consumers will have ready access to professional-quality tools, if not talent.





Companies will fold before writers. but different models will have to come into practice.





A large company will fail or a meaningful data-leak wil occur.





The semantic web will have been created without effort.






That'll do for now.








Yours kindly,









Shakir Razak

Shakir Razak | Jan 12, 2008 | 2:41AM

>#6 revised:
- IBM will add at least another 20.000 jobs in India.

- IBM will secretly layoff another 10.000 US-workers

- the IBM CFO will get hit by IBM's shareholders due to burning 16 B$ in cash for share buy backs, which lead to a further deterioration of the share price in 2008. Yes, IBM will report bad quarters, as its hardware business will further erode due to weak sales and platform issues.

IBM-Worker | Jan 12, 2008 | 10:20AM

My prediction is that a presidential candidate will have their identity stolen and used for international malfeasance. The culprit will not be caught. Like the internet bubble of the 90's, people are in an "open-ness" bubble. People don't understand that like financial fundamentals, there is a reason for public and private lives. This will cause severe backlash to social networking sites such as Facebook, but also Google.

tim | Jan 14, 2008 | 3:06PM

You were half right about the Macbook Air.

Leif | Jan 15, 2008 | 8:06PM

The sales of HDTV displays will fail to meet tipping points necessary to carry the mandated transition date to completion.

Broadcasters will exploit loopholes by retreating from terrestrial broadcasting to Internet streaming, satellite and cable, effectively marking the death knell of off-air television.

Joe Schuch | Jan 16, 2008 | 4:11PM

Interesting that Bob's prediction about IBM was just debunked with the earnings report tonight.

ibmr | Jan 17, 2008 | 11:29PM

NerdTV2.0 is the new Duke Nukem Forever.

I think there is more chances that we will see the Optimus OLED keyboard appear than season 2.
Oh wait, Optimus was a CES!

Robuka Kenderle | Jan 18, 2008 | 1:43AM